Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Salon: What I Read and What I Hope to Read

Finished Reading...


Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia by David Greene


I swear that I could hear David Green reading this story to me as I turned the pages. Greene is an NPR reporter and was assigned for some years to Russia. He’s got a reporter’s curiosity that drives him to stop and interview all the intriguing folks he runs across. And, brother, does he ever run across some intriguing folks. A couple whose son was a Russian hockey star, killed when his plane came down. A man whose dad invented the AK-47. A group of Russian babushkas who sing together internationally.


A perfect summer read: great interviews amid the refreshing cold weather of Russia.




The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe by Ann Morgan


I’m glad I found this book at the library. I was all gung ho to buy it at B&N. Glad I didn’t, as it honestly isn’t my kind of book. Ann Morgan explores all the philosophical reasons behind why she decided to read a book from each country of the world...how many countries are there?...what is a country, really?...how do you choose something representative from each place? I wasn’t terribly interested in all that discourse; I kept waiting to hear about the books she chose and read. And the books she chose and read was pretty much confined to a list of twenty pages in the back. Quite disappointing, really.





Book Savvy by Cynthia Lee Katona


Katona aims to convince America to pick up a book and read. She climbs up on the podium from page one of this book and lectures to us about why we need to read (she claims there are eleven good reasons) and what we could be reading. Then she provides an eighty page book list of books we might try, books that range from a 5 level of challenge (masterworks, with demanding ideas and vocabulary) to a 1 level of challenge (books written for children, but with appeal to adults). Lots of books on the list are mainstays of lists like these, but there are enough surprises to justify my purchase at Half Price Books.




Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris


I can’t decide if Mary Norris has the best job in the world or the worst job in the world. What would it be like to spend your life (more than thirty years of it) working in the copy room of The New Yorker, agonizing over whether to hyphenate a word or add a comma? Part of the fun is the who; Norris isn’t checking spelling and firming up sloppy writing for seventh-graders, after all, but for the likes of some of our world’s greatest writers. Part of the fun is also the puzzling through the sometimes contradictory rules, and reflecting on The New Yorker’s stylish grammar choices amid the contradictions (always doubling the final consonant before adding a suffix, for example...interesting).




Adventures in Yellowstone: Early Travelers Tell Their Tales by M. Mark Miller


I’m planning a celebratory forty-year-anniversary visit to Yellowstone later this summer. To prepare, I’m slowly reading a lot of Yellowstone-ish books. This one is a collection of excerpts from the stories of early travelers to Yellowstone. Truman Everts got separated from his exploration party and spent thirty-seven days alone in Yellowstone, for example...now that’s a story. Any number of wild animal attacks. A surprising number of people who were burned badly from geysters. I loved reading about the group of explorers that tentatively divided up, pre-park, Yellowstone’s great sites and contemplated the riches each might obtain from future tourists there.



Up Next...
The Rocks and Lists of Note...


What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.  It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Weekend Cooking: Dean Fearing and The Texas Food Bible

He's not from Texas.

And he never meant to become a cook.

But aren't we glad he did?

Dean Fearing opened the first white tablecloth American cuisine restaurant in 1981 in Dallas. He cooked for us at the Texas Book Festival. 

He's seen every new trend in cooking come and go. 

What's the next wave in cooking, you ask? "Everyone's going to be reading The Texas Food Bible," he boldly replies.



Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Saturday Snapshot is now hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chinatown

San Francisco, Summer of 2007.

For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

Here are some of the books I'm eagerly awaiting this year:

No surprise here. July of 2015.


First Kundera in fifteen years.


Maybe this summer's Girl on a Train.


Mysterious tale of a man starting over. From zero.


Linked short stories, set in Maine.


Judy Blume. 


A personal journey through the art world.


A guide to modern romance.


You know me. I can't pass up anything French.


Adore Brene Brown. Looking forward to her new book.


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

First Day of Summer, or Let the Reading Begin!


It's official. School is out. Summer has started.

So let the reading begin!



What have I finished during this last week of school?



Second Reading is a book-about-books, and its all about taking a second look at my kind of books. Book critic Jonathan Yardley pulls books from his bookshelf that he read twenty, thirty, forty years ago and rereads them. Most of these are small books, almost forgotten now, and I love it that he brings his magnifying glass to each of these rather than the big bestsellers that are always in the limelight anyway. Yardley's tastes run a bit more to suspense and adventure than mine do, but I was still able to write down lots of titles on my wish list and that's always nice.

Uncle is our 1001 Children's Books You Must Read book group's latest read. It's a book that never appeared on my radar until I saw it on this list. It's a story, I suspect, that kids will love more than adults, but, as I'm the rare adult who hasn't quite grown up yet, I adored it. Uncle is an elephant and he and his friends are fighting a constant guerrilla war with a group of his enemies who are jealous of Uncle's power and influence and riches. It's very, very fun, with each group pranking the other, slinging little arrows at the other, and just trying to get the other group to yield and cry...well, uncle.

I Dare Me sends author Lu Ann Cahn on a yearlong journey to try something new every day. Sometimes she tries big things (cooking a rack of lamb, riding in a race car, learning to fence, starting a daily journal) but mostly she just tries small things (going to the movies by herself, learning to sew on a button, talking to a stranger), and the results are quite engaging. I dare you to read I Dare Me. Then I dare you to dare yourself to do something new every day.

Expectations often kill a book for me, and that's what I think happened with Rabbit Back Literature Society. Publishers, I urge you, don't paste a huge endorsement for the book on the front cover in which you compare the book to another, long-treasured book (The Secret History). I promise you, you just can't live up to that hype. I didn't hate it; in fact, I might have loved it, had I gone into it with smaller hopes. A charming little premise, with lots of minor weavings and wobblings along the road, and with occasional trips into the ditch.


What arrived in the mail this week?


Just one book, but it's a doozy. Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience. I recently read Letters of Note, compiled by Shaun Usher, and loved it so much I sent the book back to the library and promptly added it to my wish list so I can get a copy of my own. Can't wait to read this one!


What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.  It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer Before Jon Was Born



For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Snarky Response to "Top Ten Books I'd Like to See Made into Movies"



I almost never see a wonderful book made into a wonderful movie.

I hesitate, then, to condemn a great book
to new life as a bad movie.

I'm afraid I have to say that
I'd rather keep my wonderful books
as wonderful books.

My short answer is none.

How about you?
Are there movies you would, bravely,
have made from your favorite books?



Re-posting, from September of 2013, 
and from April of 2011, 
previous blog posts with this prompt,
in its entirety.  Here's the original, with comments



Hope you'll enter my giveaway



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.